May 24, 2024

To help hog raisers recover from the effects of the African swine fever, the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera turned over a P5.5 million worth pigsty to the Itogon Agricultural Cooperative at Besil, Gumatdang in Itogon, Benguet on April 4.

DA-CAR Assistant Provincial Coordinating Officer Cirilo Batan together with Gov. Melchor Diclas and Itogon Mayor Bernard Waclin turned over the items to the members of the cooperative, who were earlier heavily affected by the ASF. 

The project is under the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (Inspire) program that is launched with its twin program, Bantay ASF sa Barangay (BABAy ASF), in response to the ASF problem experienced in the region.

The programs aim to establish biosecurity and disease control measure alongside calibrated repopulation and development of the local swine industry’s ability to produce ample number of hogs and supply of pork locally.

Diclas said the project is a great help in revitalizing the swine industry in the municipality as they are among the farmers in the province who were greatly affected by the ASF virus causing the loss of their livelihood. 

He cited the province’s efforts, which complements the provincial government’s initiatives in economic development including the zero-interest livelihood assistance given to farm organizations, especially those affected by the ASF virus. 

The barangays with ASF cases recorded in Itogon since 2019 to present are Loacan, Tinongdan, Dalupirip, Ampucao, Tuding, and Poblacion, according to DA-CAR. 

The Office of the Provincial Veterinary sustains its information campaign for hog raisers in the province to be on alert against the ASF.

The OpVet said once a hog farm is found to be positive of the ASF, only pigs that tested positive of the virus will be culled and not all pigs within the one-kilometer radius.

The depopulation of all pigs within the one-kilometer radius was the earlier practice during the height of the spread of the ASF.  – Ofelia C. Empian